Generation Gap

My theater class is reading The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe. I happen to love this play, even if it is about a guy who sells his soul to the devil.

When I first taught it four years ago, I didn't think my kids would be able to understand the original text, and I didn't want to spend the entire class period explaining it to them either. So one night I sat down at my computer and rewrote the whole thing in contemporary language.

It was probably maybe a little bit late at night when I started, and there is a slim tiny little sort of giant chance that I started to get a little loose with the translation. Also, I cannot shake this sense of humor I have; it pops up at the most inconvenient times.

In today's reading, we saw how Faustus, who has become a very powerful magician, is entertaining the Emperor by calling forth Alexander the Great and his girlfriend. And there's this guy named Benvolio who is suffering from a wicked hangover and he says some rude things to Faustus. Well, Faustus is not just going to take that.

Emperor Great googly moogly! That is Benvolio,
And he has two huge horns growing out of his head! Duke of Saxony, are you seeing this?

Saxony What’s the matter with him? Is he dead or sleeping?

Faustus He’s just asleep, but he doesn’t know anything about his horns yet.

Emperor That is awesome! Hey! Benvolio!

Benvolio Huh? What? What the crap! I’m trying to sleep!

Emperor If I looked like that, I’d sleep as much as possible myself.

Saxony Benvolio, the Emperor is talking to you!

Benvolio The Emperor? Where? Dang, my head hurts!

Emperor And no wonder, HORNBOY!

I remember thinking, as I was writing this whole script out, that I was a genius. And sometimes, when my kids are reading through the play, I start to get the church giggles, because I am so impressed with myself, and also come on: that is funny stuff.

So my kids, who have heard me use the phrase Cheese It as well as Word to Your Mother, were today introduced to another of my favorites: Great Googly Moogly.

"La FlowER," they said, "what IS that?"

"You know," I replied, "from the Snickers commercial?"

They stared at me blankly.

"With the guy? Who was painting the end zone? And then the football player? He said, 'That's great, but who are the Chefs?' That one? You know!"

They stared at me blankly.

"Oh ... forget it," I sputtered. I hate it when I am jolted into a realization that my students are too young to know all my pop culture references.

At any rate, here it is, the commercial that inspired my Faustian genius.

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